You’ve picked the most relevant keywords, adjusted your landing pages, have solid keyword bids, and your quality scores are looking strong.  So why is your click-through rate (CTR) so lowsy?  And why are the clicks that you ARE getting not converting?  One reason could be your ad copy.  If you have the same, generic "Get Product X From My Company" as the copy for your one and only ad variation, this could be the reason why your campaign(s) is not performing as well as it could be.

When someone types in a keyword that triggers your ad, the copy in your ad needs to stand out among the other paid ads in order to get clicked.  Even if your ad is not in positions 1 or 2, having good ad copy can catch a users eye and persuade them to click on your ad, rather than ones that are showing higher.

Below are a few tips to help improve your ad copy and get you some more clicks.  For the sake of simplicity, I will be referring to Google Adwords for these tips.  However, the basics behinds these tips can be applied to writing ad copy for Yahoo and MSN paid ads as well.


  1. Think Like Your Target Audience – Who are you trying to attract?  Doctors?  Lawyers?  Wholesalers?  End buyers?  Do you sell in bulk or single products?  In order to write effective PPC ad copy, you need to think about what your target audience is looking for and what might persuade them to click on your ad.  For example, if you sell medical equipment to doctors, you might want to include specific product model names and specification, rather than just "medical equipment".  If you are a clothing manufacturer who sells in bulk, you are not really targeting the end consumer.  Including something like "wholesale t-shirts" or "bulk jean orders" will yield more targeted clicks than, say "buy t-shirts" or "jeans for sale".
  2. Be Direct, But Creative – Use catchy and unique phrases while being as direct as possible.  Be sure to include some of your targeted keywords from a particular ad group in the ad copy.  Not only will this help to improve your quality score, but it will show in bold when that keyword triggers your ad.  Including a call to action is always a direct and easy way to attract more clicks.  Check out examples A and B below.  Ad variation A is direct, but is pretty generic and does nothing to make the user say, "Hey, let’s check this one out!".  Ad variation B is much more catchy, while still getting the point across and also including a call to action.

  3. Pay Attention To Your Competitors – It’s one of the oldest business tricks in the book.  See what type of ad copy your competitors are using, then make adjustments to attract more clicks.  If there is something unique about your business that separates you from your competition, make sure to highlight that in your ad copy.  If your competitors are selling on price through their ad copy, try to counteract that with a lower price, wider selection, better experience, or some other unique selling proposition.
  4. Utilize Google’s Keyword Insertion Feature – Best Rank has had great success in our client’s PPC campaigns by utilizing keyword insertion in our ad copy.  Basically, keyword insertion allows you to place some code into your ad copy that will auto-populate your ad with whatever search query is used, provided that keyword is being targeted in your ad group.  Someone who sees an ad with a headline that matches exatcly what they searched for is much more likely to click on that ad.  This feature is also great because it allows you to write fewer ad variations for a broader spectrum of keywords.
  5. Test Out Different Ad Text Variations – There is no sure-fire ad copy formula that will get you more clicks.  Since each campaign and ad group is different,  it may be that different ad copy works better for ad group A than ad group B.  It’s always a good idea to start off any new campaign or ad group with several different ad copy set-ups (3-4 different ads is a pretty good number to start with).  Selecting the "Optimize" feature for Ad Serving will allow you to see which ad copy is performing better over a period of time.  Taking the more successful ads and applying some of the same ad copy techniques across other ad groups can help improve your CTR and yield more targeted visitors.



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